I read a lot of books about parenting and helping teens and I’ve noticed the best books, the ones that make the most impact on me and my family, are different from all others in one main way. The best books are built on a foundation of vulnerability and brokenness and the worst books are built on expertise. I learn a lot more from another parent struggling with reality than those that are trying to make life fit nicely into their neat and orderly plan.
Michele Cushatt’s wrote her memoir called, Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life not as a parenting book or even as a book for dealing with all sorts of other things like divorce, blended families, cancer and adoption. She simply captured her journey and how she wrestled with her life coming undone and shares that gift with us. The reason I’m such a fan of Michele and her book is through her openness and vulnerability about all these things that have happened in her life a plan emerges that changes how I respond not only to my family but to all areas of my life.
I’ve known about Michele for several years and was able to spend several meals and hours with her last fall at the SCORRE Conference. She is an amazing public speaker and writer (Read her Blog). I asked her about her book as we became acquainted and I knew right away that she had written something that I needed and that a lot of parents would be helped by. Michele has agreed to be on my podcast later this year because she feels connected to the real families that struggle with how hard it is to raise kids and instill not only life skills but also hope to live despite setbacks.
Go buy the book. If you aren’t a reader, you can by the recorded version in which Michele reads it to you. Buy the book and don’t put off reading it. Just a bit of disclosure, if you buy the book on Amazon using the link above, Project Patch will make a few pennies.
I don’t want to give away the story but what I can tell you is that you will laugh, get something in your eye and feel both more vulnerable and hopeful than before you read it. Here are some quotes from the book that really stood out to me.
“The good news is I’ve discovered four sure cures for perfectionism: Parenting. Marriage. Writing. And parenting. But Mostly Parenting”
“A boat anchored to itself is not anchored at all”
“My desire for a tidy life was simply that — my desire. This was the demand I made of myself and the people in my life, including God. But it was a demand God had not intention of meeting. Instead, he soothed my angst with a hint of freedom: I never wanted nor promised a tidy life. I want you and I promised me.”
I find that I tend to miss out on life and on significant opportunities to impact my family because I’m either too preoccupied by my fears, attempting to figure out why things aren’t fair, or trying to force my present circumstances to meet my expectations. Instead, Michele through this book has given me another alternative, one that requires way more prayers, patience, trust and humility.
Did I say you should buy this book and read it right away?
* Disclosure: I received a pre-release copy of the book but am not receiving any financial reward for working to get the word out about this book.